On September 22, 2023, the Supreme Court extended an earnest invitation to the Tamil Nadu government and the esteemed DMK leader, Udhayanidhi Stalin. The court’s gesture was prompted by a heartfelt plea, requesting a thorough examination of Mr. Stalin’s comments concerning ‘Sanatana Dharma’.
Why is Udhayanidhi Stalin facing inquiry?
A Bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M. Trivedi has formally acknowledged and acted upon the petition brought forth by advocate B. Jagannath, with representation by advocate G. Balaji. Their collective endeavor is to solicit an imperative directive, urging the Tamil Nadu Police to promptly initiate the process of registering an FIR against Mr. Udhayanidhi Stalin and individuals who were in attendance at the ‘Sanatana Dharma Eradication Conference’ conducted on September 2 in Chennai, organized by an entity known as the Tamil Nadu Murpoku Ezuthalar Sangam.
Furthermore, the petition has put forth an earnest request for a comprehensive investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the aforementioned incident. This investigation aims to unveil the origins of funding for such organizations and ascertain whether any suspicious elements of terror funding have originated from sources beyond our nation’s borders.
“The conference was convened with a specific agenda to focus on Hinduism, also known as Sanatana Dharma, and to engage in acts of vilification, degradation, and the dissemination of hateful rhetoric against it. The petition asserted that these actions bore resemblance to practices witnessed during the era of Stalinist Russia, particularly in the context of the establishment of gulags.”
What does this mean for the public and Udhayanidhi Stalin?
Addressing a gathering convened under the banner of a ‘Sanatana Eradication Conference,’ Udhayanidhi Stalin expressed his viewpoint that Sanatana Dharma stands in opposition to principles of social justice and equality.
He articulated, “Certain things cannot be merely opposed; they must be completely eradicated. We don’t oppose diseases like dengue, mosquitoes, malaria, or coronavirus; we strive to eliminate them. Similarly, we should aim to eradicate Sanatana.”
Udhayanidhi Stalin, who serves as a minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development in the governing DMK administration, went on to emphasize, “Rather than merely opposing Sanatana, our focus should be on its complete eradication. The term ‘Sanatana’ originates from Sanskrit and, in my view, it is antithetical to the principles of social justice and equality.”
The petition also requested a court order to prohibit the Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin from making similar statements in the future and to preempt the organization of such gatherings.
The plea articulated, “It is conceivable that a conference aimed at eradicating casteism and Varnashrama Dharma could be regarded as a positive endeavor. However, in this case, the nature and intent of the conference, as well as the manner in which it was conducted by the organizers, were clearly intended to propagate hatred, animosity, and offensive rhetoric. The conference explicitly targeted Hindus, as it is evident that Hindus predominantly practice the Sanatanam Dharma Religion.”
In a related development, a letter has been dispatched to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. This communication bears the signatures of 262 prominent individuals, among them 14 retired High Court judges. The letter petitions for the initiation of suo motu action against Udhayanidhi Stalin due to his comments concerning Sanatan Dharma.
Furthermore, amid the ongoing discourse surrounding Udhayanidhi Stalin’s statements, the Madras High Court recently weighed in on the matter. The court articulated that Sanatana Dharma comprises a collection of timeless responsibilities imposed upon adherents of the Hindu way of life, encompassing duties towards one’s nation, parents, and spiritual guides. The court questioned why such sacred duties should be subjected to dismantling or destruction.